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tv   GOP Senators Demand Conference with House in Exchange for Supporting...  CSPAN  July 27, 2017 6:59pm-7:22pm EDT

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by a veto-proof number, 98-2. earlier this week, the house voted to punish russia as well as iran an north korea and sharply limited the president's ability to lift sanctions. the administration argued it needs flexibility in diplomacy with russia. you can read more at "the new york times" online. the senate in for what's expected to be a late night tonight. a look here at the senate floor. senator lankford of oklahoma speaking about health care and the health care law. debating the legislation and possibly voting on a skinny repeal which would take away small portions of the current health care law but keep much of it in place. democratic leader in the house says they could even see a bill come over from the senate for a vote as early as tomorrow. we heard from g.o.p. senators earlier today on where the health care legislation stands. take a look at their remarks now.
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mr. graham: he's back. so the third amigo. here's the state of play. all three of us support the idea of continuing the process to get a good outcome for the american people when it comes to replacing obamacare. to find a product that's better for the american people. i have a bunch of ideas. everybody has ideas. we've been asked by our leadership for days now to vote on the least common denominator, the skinny bill, because the pitch is if you vote for this skinny bill, then we can go to conference and we can get my bill scored, we can get ted cruz's bill scored, we can get other people's bills scored that has promise of maybe bringing us together. but they're not scored yet. that makes imminent sense to me with one condition. we actually go to conference. there's the increasing concern
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on my part and others that what the house will do is take whatever we pass, the so-called skinny bill, not take it to conference, go directly to the house floor, vote on it, and that goes to the president's desk with the argument, this is better than doing nothing. here's my response. the skinny bill as policy is a disaster. the skinny bill as a replacement for obamacare is a fraud. the skinny bill is a vehicle to getting conference to find a replacement. it is not a replacement in and of itself. the policy is terrible because you eliminate the individual employer mandate, which we all want eliminated but we actually have an overall solution to the problem of obamacare, so you're going to have increased premiums and most of obamacare stays in place. if the skinny bill becomes law. not only do we not replace obamacare, we politically own the collapse of health care. i'd rather get out of the way and let it collapse than have a
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half-assed approach where it is now our problem. so we're not going to do that with our vote. what we will do is move the process along. our freedom caucus friends, who i disagree with a lot but sometimes i agree with them. here's what mark meadow said. we would send a skinny bill to the president's the question. the answer is no. so it becomes the vehicle for conference. mark meadows agreed the skinny repeal would be dead on arrival in the house, but he understands it's just a vehicle for a conference. here's the problem. the whip in the house is suggesting to some that whatever we send becomes the inal product, there will be no conference, and i am not going to vote for the skinny bill if i'm not assured by the house there will be a conference. where my idea and other ideas can be taken up so we can actually replace obamacare. i'm not going to vote for a bill that is terrible policy and horrible politics, just
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because we have to get something done. so all three of us want to move the process along. we're encouraged by our leadership to be team players. they're coming up with a skinny bill that changes by the moment. but none of us believe it actually replaces obamacare. neither does the freedom caucus. and i need assurances from the speaker of the house and his eam that if i vote for the skinny bill, it will not become the final product. it will be the vehicle to have a conference between the house and senate, where we can consider a true replacement. if i don't get those assurances, i'm a no because i'm not going to vote for a pig in a poke and i'm not going to tell people back in south carolina that this product
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actually replaces obamacare, because it does not. it is a fraud. and with that i'll turn it over to my great friend, john mccain. mr. mccain: i have nothing to add. [laughter] as i stated earlier this week, i'm not supportive of the legislation as it stands today. i am in close consultation with arizona governor regarding the so-called skinny repeal. and its potential impact on the tate of arizona. my position on this proposal will be largely guided by governor -- by the governor's analysis of how it would impact the people of our state. y friends, this is legislation that directly affects the lives of the people in my state. i trust my governor, i trust is people. and he is looking carefully at this. he's looking carefully at the skinny bill. but he's also looking at steps that need to be taken in addition to it. so i am convinced that we can move forward. but we have to have an assurance that it will go to a normal conference.
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right now that is not the case. and we do not have the assurance that it's the case. i believe that one of the major problems with obamacare was that it was rammed through congress by democrats without a single republican vote. i believe we shouldn't make that same mistake again. and if necessary, this is -- you are now about to hear from an antique phone that very few americans -- [laughter] there's very few americans anywhere in the world -- i believe there's a person in togo who also has this phone. [laughter] mr. graham: this man's humor. [laughter] mr. mccain: look, we can't make the same mistake that we inflicted in 2009. we've got to have some bipartisanship. all of you saw my speech, which i will be glad to provide you with a recording of in case you missed it, in case you have nsomnia.
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but the point is we have to have republicans and democrats sit down together and come up with a bill that gets a majority in both houses. otherwise we're going to see this continuous gridlock and i don't want to go on and on, but hen we passed obamacare in 2009, it split us, it split us dramatically. and it split us for years. it's time we sat down together and came up with a piece of legislation that addresses this issue. and don't think this issue is just out there sitting by tself. in my state, we are down to one health care provide for the every county. co-pays are going up. by hundreds of thousands -- you're late. you see the freshmen show no respect for their elders. finally i'd like to say, in my state, obamacare is a failure.
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it needs to be fixed. we have fixes. but it's got to be done in the normal process. and what i'm afraid of, of ourse, is that this -- if this thing die this is week and then it sits out there over the august recess or whatever. it's time we sat down together and came up with solutions that the american people overall would support. i guarantee you in my state the status quo is not satisfactory. that's one of the major reasons why i've been in constant contact with the governor of the state of arizona who bears large responsibility. now as in keeping with our seniority, we'll allow the two additional senators 30 seconds each. >> first of all, john, great to see you come back. i've told you a number of times, it's an honor to be able to serve with you. i'm happy to join lindsey and john and senator cassidy, just
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asking very simple request. give us insurance, give us a guarantee that whatever we pass out of the senate is going to go to conference so we can work on, for example, the great ideas these two gentlemen have been working hard, with our governors, something that i think can get a great deal of support. the fact of the matter is the status quo is unacceptable. obamacare markets are collapsing. let me tell you a little story. senator johnson: a woman i spoke to for the first time on tuesday, sherry and vern kobe from river falls, wisconsin, contacted our office, she conveyed her story to me. has some pre-existing conditions. in 2014, they signed up for obamacare. paid their premiums. sent in their check stubs to make sure they qualified for the subsidies. did their taxes in march of 2015. got the bad news that they made too much money and had to pay $15,000 back to the i.r.s. now the i.r.s. isn't real kind
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about being forgiving about it so in order to pay the $15,000 back, because again they made too much money, they had to drain their 401k and then they had to sell their home that they intended to live in for the rest of their life so they ouldn't lose their home. think about that. sherry and vern are the forgotten men and women -- the same folks bill clinton was talking about, the ones that are busting it. vern works 60 to 70 hours a week driving milk trucks, sherry works 30 hours a week at a florist. they depleted their 401k, they lost their house, that's why the status quo is in the acceptable. i'm sorry, the skinny bill in the senate doesn't come close to honoring our promise of repealing obamacare. those market reform that was increased their premiums and
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nothing we're doing, virtually nothing we're doing in any of these bills and proposals are addressing the challenge the the challenges, the problem -- the problems, damage done to people like sherry and vern. so all we're asking leadership, and this is a very simple request. just give us the assurance that whatever we pass tonight will go to conference and so the good ideas of people like senator lindsey graham and senator cassidy here can get scored, can have a chance to be argued and hopefully can replace obamacare with something that actually works for folks like sherry and vern. with that, i'm happy to introduce senator cassidy who has done some great work coming up with an alternative. senator cassidy: i want to look at what could happen if it goes to conference. senator graham and senator heller and i have been working on a provision which could take some time to be scored, it could be overlaid upon the bill that could be passed tonight. we hope to take all the dollars
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that would go to a state and deliver to the state. the state has to use it on health care but they can come up with a solution particular for their state. what happens in alaska with less than one person per square mile is very different than what happens in washington, d.c., over 100,000 people per square mile. which is difference than louisiana, south carolina, wisconsin and arizona. those states should decide what's best for those states. we can do that through this process if we pass the bill tonight and then it goes to conference committee and then we can overlay this we think we can overlay this. we think this is a way to fulfill the promise president trump made to the american people to actually repeal. and that's our commitment. we hope this process allows it. reporter: you said you had increasing concerns that they will pass this bill and not go to conference. did something happen to make you feel that way?
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and what happened? enator graham: senator meadows says nobody in the freedom caucus sees this as a viable replacement. i don't think governor ducey wants toy say that this fixes arizona's problem. i know it won't fix sherry's problem. we want to take our bill that the governor likes and see if we can come up with a block grant approach. we're trying to level that out. so mark called me and said he's concerned that there's a move in the house to take whatever we pass in the senate and pass it, not go to conference. we have been trying to communicate to the speaker. we have asked our leader point-blank and he said the speaker prefers to go to conference, intends to go to conference. i want to know, like, are you going to go to the onference?
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i want to know that because i am not going to vote for a piece of legislation that i elieve is not a replacement, that politically would be the dumbest thing in history to throw this out there, collapse the individual market and own the problem at a time when obamacare is listening. if you listen to the governor, john will have a good decision to make. the governor will look at our new approach and tell john that works for arizona. i can tell you right now, the skinny bill doesn't work for any state. it's not meant to be the final outcome, it's meant to be part of the process to get a better outcome. our bill hasn't been scored, ted cruz's bill hasn't been scored. we're buying time to get there but that requires the house to actually go to conference. if they don't go to conference, then i'm not going to vote. >> are my any of you worried -- reporter: are any three of you
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worried about -- is there a concern if you three block the replacement attempt tonight that you'll then have to be accountable to voters who really want obamacare replaced? senator graham: i do this with joy in my heart. i'm going to go back to south carolina and say, the skinny bill doesn't repeal obamacare. -- replace obamacare. it's a disaster for premiums in south carolina. it was never sold to be the final product. i was told if i vote for the skinny bill, i get a chance to put in play my block grant approach. o i am not the bad guy here. 'm actually a team player. i am trying to honor the request by our leadership to
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keep the process alive. as we get near the goal line here this will surprise people in south carolina, you need to trust but verify in washington. >> let me confirm what lindsey aid. this has been sold to us as a vehicle to get to conference. 22 senators signed a letter i asked the c.b.o. to score back in march, never got the score. we've been told this is the vehicle to give us time to get the scores so we can take a look at other alternatives. senator johnson: all we're looking for is a guarantee. we'll vote yes as long as we et that guarantee. reporter: do you believe the skinny bill is a replacement for obamacare and would fix the problems? senator johnson: it would not. reporter: senator graham. senator graham. senator graham. senator mccain. what do you say to people -- you gave this big speech about returning to regular oorder, say you want to work with democrats, what do
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you say to people who say you should vote no? and send this thing back to committee -- senator mccain: right now i am voting no. unless i see that there is a path to a conference that will come out with a result that will address the challenges. the status quo in my state is unsatisfactory. that's why i'm working with the governor of my state who has proposed three different amendments which i will be putting up for votes as we go through. if it satisfies the governor, then i would be satisfied. right now, my governor is not satisfied. reporter: has the parliamentarian said your amendment would be conferenceable? senator graham: i'm 99% sure we'll get a memo from the parliamentarian saying the graham-cassidy-heller, maybe johnson, bill will be conferenceable. and that block has been checked. i really wasn't too much worried about anything until i got a call from mark meadows
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and i got a call from mark meadows who believes like ron does and i do that the skinny bill is not a replacement, that obamacare is collapsing and the skinny bill won't prevent it collapsing and in many ways makes everything worse. that part is good to go. need an assurance about this. reporter: what is the guarantee? a blood oath? [laughter] senator graham: we don't have it, it's like pornography, you'll know it when you see it. [laughter] we have to go. senator johnson: walking up here, someone asked me, the house is going into martial law, i didn't know that was possible. i guess that would give us concern. in the remaining moments, i'm happy to give you this, i keep talking about information we need. this shows the disaster that is
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obamacare in terms of the effect on premiums. this was the premium trend prior to obamacare. this is what we're talking about now. this is why sherry and vern can't afford insurance. this is the information we need to make better choices to have a process that will work for sherry and vern. senator graham: as to the skinny bill being a replacement for obamacare and helping people, that's about as accurate as when president obama told you if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. mr. johnson: thanks much. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> and in the house, they'll be in tomorrow before members are expected to go on recess, with a warning from their majority leader that they should remain flexible in their plans. in case the house has to return
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to capitol hill to work on any health care legislation that might be passed by the senate. the house also passed a spending measure dealing with defense and security today. it includes $1.6 billion for a border wall between the u.s. and mexico. and in the senate, work continues on health care, expected late into the night with live coverage on c-span2. the senate could vote on what's being called a skinny repeal of the current health care law, which would repeal the mandates that most people have health insurance and that larger employers provide health care coverage. the democratic leader in the house says they could see a bill come over from the senate for a vote as early as omorrow. >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning --
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washington journal d, live at 7:00 eastern friday morning. join the discussion. dr. curt newman on his book, "healing children: a surgeon's stories from the frontiers of pediatric medicine." >> the conversations i hear with about cutting things like medicaid and, you know, cutting the n.i.h. and doing all these things, when we're on the cusp of such terrific discoveries. when you think about half of the people that are on medicaid , half of the beneficiaries are children. so who's going to get hurt? why do we want to do that? we're not doing that to the elderly on medicare. why would we want to do that? in fact, we ought to double down. and really put more into our children. >> watch the entire program saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern. also on book tv, on c-span2, sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern, david goodhart on his book,
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"the road to somewhere: the populist revolt and the future of politics." >> you see this in the contempt that people in my email chains after brexit, you had left wing professors basically saying, why did we give these people the vote? at least without some kind of i.q. test. >> for more of this weekend's schedule go to >> vice president pence spoke to small business owners earlier today in washington, d.c. at a meeting at the national federation of independent business. he talked about the trump administration's commitment to lowering taxes for individuals and businesses. he also discussed ongoing efforts to repeal and replace the affordable care act. this is 20 minutes. vice president pence: thank you. give anita another round of applause, will you? she's a great, great champion of small business. i want to thank her for that


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